What is consciousness, really? How does it manifest
in the brain and body? And is it possible to physically change the
brain solely through mental practices?
In 1992 Professor Richard J. Davidson, one of the world’s
leading neuroscientists, met the Dalai Lama, who encouraged him
to apply the same rigorous methods he used to study depression and
anxiety to the study of compassion and kindness. Dr. Davidson, who
was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people
in 2006, did just that, and the results of his studies at Wisconsin’s
Center for Investigating Healthy Minds are portrayed in the fascinating
new documentary, FREE THE MIND.
By studying the practices of Tibetan monks and other meditative
techniques, Dr. Davidson found that it is actually possible to rewire
the brain through meditation and mental training exercises, and
he has dedicated himself to applying this discovery to improve the
lives of people throughout the world.
Dr. Davidson recently has been working with young children dealing
with ADHD and anxiety in school settings, as well as American war
veterans struggling with PTSD, in an attempt to discover whether
mind-focused techniques, such as meditation and yoga, can ease their
pain, relax their nervous systems, improve their attention and help
them become happier and more peaceful.
Can Professor Richard Davidson make a difference? Can he free
these people from their troubled existences and help them lead ordinary
lives? Free the Mind follows three test subjects – one school-aged
boy and two veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan –
on a daring journey into the deepest recesses of the human mind.